To empower students of the National Service Training Program-Civic Welfare Training Service (NSTP-CWTS) in the conduct of their group projects in different areas in Davao City, a symposium on community structures was conducted by the NSTP-CWTS Program of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation on 23rd November 2013. Entitled “Understanding Community Structures,” the symposium gathered together all sophomore students enrolled in NSTP-CWTS 2, totalling 48 classes, in two different venues: The Finster Auditorium, and the Function Room of the Philippine Red Cross Millennium Building along Roxas Avenue. Students were oriented on the intricacies of community structures and learned from the inputs of leaders in the barangay level, as well as in the parish and basic ecclesial communities (BEC) level.
Hon. Ramon Bargamento II, the Punong Barangay of Mintal, and Hon. Artemio Jimenez, the Punong Barangay of Talomo, gave the students input on understanding the structures of the Barangay Development Council. Ms. Liza R. Lao, the Assistant Headmaster for Formation in the Ateneo de Davao University Grade School (ADDU GS), herself an active officer of the Parish Pastoral Council in the Holy Family Parish in Baliok, Toril, walked the students through the dynamic structure of the Parish Pastoral Council and the BEC or the Gagmayng Kristohanong Katilingban (GKK).
The symposium aimed at helping student appreciate and understand the dynamics of these existing structures of governance, especially so that these are often what they have to deal with when they start proposing and implementing their community projects in the second semester of this school year.
The NSTP fieldwork is expected to begin in late January until the whole of February 2014. (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy).